60 Minutes: Former Manhattan attorney says ‘many bits and pieces of evidence’ exist to charge Trump

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60 Minutes: Former Manhattan attorney says ‘many bits and pieces of evidence’ exist to charge Trump


CNN
 — 

A former Manhattan special assistant district attorney who investigated Donald Trump said Sunday night there are “many bits and pieces of evidence” the district attorney could use to bring criminal charges against the former president.

Mark Pomerantz, a former senior prosecutor on the Manhattan DA’s team investigating Trump and his organization’s business dealings, said prosecutors weighing similar evidence against anyone other than the former president would have moved ahead with charges in a “flat second.”

Pomerantz made the comments in a “60 Minutes” interview promoting a new book about his time investigating Trump. He pointed to evidence he had access to during the investigation – principal among them, that Trump personally signed off on inflating his own net worth to obtain more favorable banks loans.

“There were many bits and pieces of evidence on which we could rely in making that case,” Pomerantz told CBS’s Bill Whitaker.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, filed a civil lawsuit against Trump, his eldest children and others alleging they were engaged in a decade long fraud by using inaccurate financial statements to obtain favorable loan and insurance rates and tax treatment. The burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is lower than what prosecutors need to prove a criminal case. Trump has called the lawsuit politically motivated and has denied any wrongdoing.

The allegations come nearly a year after Pomerantz resigned from the DA’s office in protest and days before the release of his new book, which has prompted pushback from District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Pomerantz resigned after Bragg, who was newly sworn into office, refused to give him a green light to seek an indictment against Trump. The district attorney’s office previously brought tax fraud charges against the Trump Organization and chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty.

Pomerantz resigned last February along with general counsel Carey Dunne.

“If you take the exact same conduct – and make it not about Donald Trump and not about a former president of the United States, would the case have been indicted? It would have been indicted in a flat second,” Pomerantz said Sunday. He called Bragg’s decision not to bring the case a “grave failure of justice.”

Pomerantz’s claims detailed in his forthcoming book have drawn the ire of his former boss and the DA’s Association of the State of New York, who claim that a former prosecutor speaking out about a case he used to be a part of could damage its integrity.

Bragg’s office asked to review the book before its publication out of concern it would reveal information obtained from a grand jury. Simon & Schuster, the publisher, moved ahead with publication.

“After closely reviewing all the evidence from Mr. Pomerantz’s investigation, I came to the same conclusion as several senior prosecutors involved in the case, and also those I brought on: more work was needed. Put another way, Mr. Pomerantz’s plane wasn’t ready for takeoff,” Bragg said in a statement to CNN.

Bragg added that he hasn’t “read the book, and won’t comment on any ongoing investigation because of the harm it could cause to the case. But I do hope there is at least one section where Mr. Pomerantz recognizes his former colleagues for how much they have achieved on the Trump matter over the last year since his departure.”

In January, a New York judge fined the Trump Organization $1.6 million – the maximum possible penalty – for running a decade-long tax fraud scheme, a symbolic moment because it is the only judgment for a criminal conviction that has come close to the former president.

Two Trump entities, The Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp., were convicted last year of 17 felonies, including tax fraud and falsifying business records. Trump himself was never charged or convicted.

On Sunday Pomerantz expanded on what evidence he believes they had against Trump, including Trump’s signature on a Deutsche Bank loan certifying that all of his financial statements were accurate.

“He warrants that the financial statements are true and correct in all material respects. Finally of course on the guaranty is his sharpie signature, Donald J. Trump,” Pomerantz said. He also alleges he has documents proving Trump knew the accurate size of his 10,996-square-foot Fifth Avenue condominium, but lied anyways, claiming in 2015 and 2016 accounting documents that it was really 30,000 square feet.

CNN previously reported that some prosecutors did not believe they had enough evidence to prove Trump’s intent and they lacked a credible narrator to explain how the financial statements were put together.

In a letter to Pomerantz, Trump’s lawyer threatened legal action against the former prosecutor if he releases the book. The lawyer, Joe Tacopina, told CNN in a statement that Pomerantz’s “desperate attempt to sell books will cost him everything. Not to mention, it is clear that he was very much in the minority in his position that President Trump committed a crime.”

In the book, which publishes on Tuesday, Pomerantz compares Trump to John Gotti, the head of the Gambino organized crime family, according to an advanced copy obtained by The New York Times, and lays out the complicated investigation that saw many close to the former president charged with crimes.

Meanwhile, Bragg’s office last week accelerated its investigation into Trump’s alleged role in a hush money payment made to silence adult film star Stormy Daniel’s allegations of an affair. Trump has denied the affair.